Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Goodbye to Blacktoft

Pair of Wigeon
Great Crested Grebe
Record shot of Black-tailed Godwit
For the last Tuesday session in the winter term we went to RSPB Blacktoft Sands. In the morning 7 Marsh Harriers were visible all high in the sky together - some of them were indulging in skydancing - rollercoastering, looping the loop, etc. The Marsh Harriers were harder to see in the afternoon, but a couple of individuals were still seen. 2 Avocets were flushed in the morning from Singleton - never to be seen again. The only other waders seen were some Redshank from Ousefleet, a few Lapwing, and 14 Curlew flying along the river. A Barn Owl was visible from Marshland in the doorway of its box. The Shelduck were getting rather friendly with each other & the drake Shovelers were showing off to the females. There were plenty of Snipe at Xerox, but this time with a good number of winter-plumaged Black-tailed Godwits. A Great Crested Grebe put on a display of affronted 'masculinity' towards another male, and we did eventually spot a single Little Grebe. Numbers of both of these species seem to be down after the recent wintery weather. A bloke in the afternoon said he saw a Short-eared Owl over Alkborough Flats through his scope, but none of us could pick up on it. Overall we saw plenty of good stuff, it was just the Bittern & Cetti's Warblers, which let us down.

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